Author Topic: Death of mainline protestantism  (Read 27486 times)

Dan Fienen

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #120 on: July 31, 2008, 07:58:13 PM »
I think Cheap Grace is what the main line is offering, a grace that is not really grace but liscence.
Cheap grace is the result of cheap law. Cheap law is when the proclaiming the law becomes morality rather than the sword of God that kills. Cheap law preaches against abortion; killing law also preaches against those who judge others who have had abortions or who perform abortions. Cheap law preaches against sex outside of marriages; killing law also preaches against anyone who believes that they are more saved by God or are proud because they waited until their wedding day. Cheap law makes only some people sinners. Killing law attacks all of us -- especially those who are proud of their self-righteousness. Once the law actually kills our self-serving attempts at justification, then God's grace is the power that can raise the dead to new life.
I am not sure that I understand you Brian.  Are you implying that trying to avoid committing a sin is not to be preferred over going on ahead and committing a sin and being forgiven for it.  Is trying to be a moral person an ungodly activity for the Christian?  Is the sole purpose for the Christian or the Christian church to consider God's Law, His written desire for our conduct, to be to convict everyone that they are sinners in need of God's grace with no implication intended for guiding the Christian to work toward conducting his life in a God pleasing manner. 

If judging those who commit sin - abortion or coercive sexual relationships for example - is equally sinful as actually doing that or maybe even more sinful ("Cheap law preaches against abortion; killing law also preaches against those who judge others who have had abortions or who perform abortions.")  If it is in my nature (perhaps God made me that way) to be judgmental, why not just let it all hang out.  It just proves that I need God's forgiveness all the more.  If spiritual pride and self-righteousness is sinful (and I agree it is) then doesn't that just prove that if I am prideful I need forgiveness and have therefor been "killed" by the law and ready for God's resurrecting grace.  Why would I even need to attempt to "amend my sinful ways?"  After all, the law is not given to have us amend our sinful ways but simply to convince us of our need for forgiveness.  For that matter, how many "reformed" sinners fall prey to self-righteous pride, they are perhaps better off not trying to go and sin no more lest they become prideful.

I don't think that this is what you mean, but I can't figure out what you do mean.

Dan
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 08:03:06 PM by Dan Fienen »
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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swbohler

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #121 on: July 31, 2008, 08:58:13 PM »
Rev. Stoffregen says: "Cheap law preaches against sex outside of marriages..."  Apparently Jesus preached cheap Law (John 8).

Scott5

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #122 on: July 31, 2008, 08:59:26 PM »
I think Cheap Grace is what the main line is offering, a grace that is not really grace but liscence.
Cheap grace is the result of cheap law. Cheap law is when the proclaiming the law becomes morality rather than the sword of God that kills. Cheap law preaches against abortion; killing law also preaches against those who judge others who have had abortions or who perform abortions. Cheap law preaches against sex outside of marriages; killing law also preaches against anyone who believes that they are more saved by God or are proud because they waited until their wedding day. Cheap law makes only some people sinners. Killing law attacks all of us -- especially those who are proud of their self-righteousness. Once the law actually kills our self-serving attempts at justification, then God's grace is the power that can raise the dead to new life.

What distinction between "cheap law" and "killing law" are you after?  I bet I could substitute something like "the guy's proclamation of law I don't like" for one and "the guy's proclamation of law I like" for the other and come up with an equivalent comparison.  All your two "laws" sound like is the Law preached to different people as applicable to their situation.

E.g., your "killing law" against "anyone who believes that they are more saved by God or are proud because they waited until their wedding day" sounds like it "makes only some people sinners," just like your examples of "cheap law." 

This means that your distinction isn't worth much so it's, uh, cheap.  ;)

ptmccain

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #123 on: July 31, 2008, 09:03:13 PM »
As much as some would like to reduce every conversation here to an endless round of "just how far can I go and still be regarded as a Luther, or even a Christian" or "let's see how often I can repeat mantras like 'grace through faith in Jesus' while denying every fundamental truth of Scripture and shrugging when others do" the cold, hard facts remain.

Paying for and condoning the killing of unborn children is powerful proof that a church body is sick unto death.

Not much fuzz on this peach, folks.

Rearrange the deck chairs and cue the band, but....well,
I'll let this guy explain it.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 09:42:59 PM by ptmccain »

Charles_Austin

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #124 on: July 31, 2008, 09:49:59 PM »
Pastor McCain writes:
As much as some would like to reduce every conversation here to an endless round of "just how far can I go and still be regarded as a Luther, or even a Christian" or "let's see how often I can repeat mantras like 'grace through faith in Jesus' while denying every fundamental truth of Scripture and shrugging when others do" the cold, hard facts remain.
I muse:
So "grace through faith in Jesus" isn't a "fundamental truth of Scripture"? Gee, I thought it was the fundamental truth of Scripture.

Pastor McCain writes:
Paying for and condoning the killing of unborn children is powerful proof that a church body is sick unto death.
I muse (to no avail, I am sure):
The "church body" you have in mind does not do this. Individuals within that church body may seek abortions, just as I am sure individuals within the LC-MS may seek abortions.

Pastor McCain writes:
Rearrange the deck chairs and cue the band, but....well,
I muse, again to no avail, I am sure:
Taking one measurement - membership - the LC-MS is declining almost as fast as anyone else. So one might say that whooping up Ablaze! or whatever is also shifting furniture.
And I shall make the plea again: Is it at all possible to have a discussion proceed on this board without the rancor and denunciations and "sick unto death" labelings? For some, I suspect not. That's too bad.

hillwilliam

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #125 on: July 31, 2008, 11:27:14 PM »

So "grace through faith in Jesus" isn't a "fundamental truth of Scripture"? Gee, I thought it was the fundamental truth of Scripture.

The "church body" you have in mind does not do this. Individuals within that church body may seek abortions, just as I am sure individuals within the LC-MS may seek abortions.


Charles, may I refer you to the book "Justification, The Article by which the Church Stands ior Falls" by Carl E. Braaten? it argues very convincingly that 'justification' is THE fundamental truth of Scripture. If you can say there are any pre-conditions to your salvation, God's justifying of the sinner most certainly is it. It is the ground upon which faith is created by God and is the ultimate expression of His gracious gift. This is something that only God can give and cannot be taken from Him by any appeal to logic. We are beggars at the altar of God and cannot hold Him hostage to a personal understanding of the Gospel that contradicts the plain language of the Scriptures.

The "church body" may not 'seek' abortions but not proclaiming God's word condemning killing is enough to put the church in the  docket for accessory to the crime. The only reason I see being modeled by the Scriptures for taking a life is to protect a life. Seldom the case in abortions.


ptmccain

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #126 on: July 31, 2008, 11:53:02 PM »
Point in fact,  every protestant mainline church's health care plan pays for abortions, without restriction, during the first trimester or more. It's a horrible tragedy and an inconvenient truth that all the PR-department spin in the world can not paper over with pious platitudes.

Real churches do not pay for elective abortions.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 11:55:37 PM by ptmccain »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #127 on: August 01, 2008, 12:57:19 AM »
I am not sure that I understand you Brian.  Are you implying that trying to avoid committing a sin is not to be preferred over going on ahead and committing a sin and being forgiven for it.  Is trying to be a moral person an ungodly activity for the Christian?  Is the sole purpose for the Christian or the Christian church to consider God's Law, His written desire for our conduct, to be to convict everyone that they are sinners in need of God's grace with no implication intended for guiding the Christian to work toward conducting his life in a God pleasing manner.
First of all, I am talking about our proclamation. If we are just preaching morality, that is cheap law. The gospel is not needed.

Secondly, Luther had two proper uses of the law: to maintain order in society and to convict of sin. We will never succeed in living our lives in a god-pleasing manner, because sin remains a power within our lives. It always corrupts the good we seek to do. Certainly living morally falls under the first use of the law. We can have some measure of success in living morally and rightiously in the world.

Quote
Why would I even need to attempt to "amend my sinful ways?"  After all, the law is not given to have us amend our sinful ways but simply to convince us of our need for forgiveness.
You amend your sinful ways for the sake of the neighbor, for order in society, to stay out of jail, etc. Any police officer or boy scout leader can tell us how to live as good, moral citizens. Within the Church we are to hear that we are all sinners, and that by God's unmerited grace through faith in Christ, our sins are forgiven.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #128 on: August 01, 2008, 12:59:10 AM »
Cheap grace is the result of cheap law. Cheap law is when the proclaiming the law becomes morality rather than the sword of God that kills. Cheap law preaches against abortion; killing law also preaches against those who judge others who have had abortions or who perform abortions. Cheap law preaches against sex outside of marriages; killing law also preaches against anyone who believes that they are more saved by God or are proud because they waited until their wedding day. Cheap law makes only some people sinners. Killing law attacks all of us -- especially those who are proud of their self-righteousness. Once the law actually kills our self-serving attempts at justification, then God's grace is the power that can raise the dead to new life.

What distinction between "cheap law" and "killing law" are you after?  I bet I could substitute something like "the guy's proclamation of law I don't like" for one and "the guy's proclamation of law I like" for the other and come up with an equivalent comparison.  All your two "laws" sound like is the Law preached to different people as applicable to their situation.

E.g., your "killing law" against "anyone who believes that they are more saved by God or are proud because they waited until their wedding day" sounds like it "makes only some people sinners," just like your examples of "cheap law." 
Did you not read the word "also" in my post?

Simply stated, cheap law says, "You can do this." The killing law says, "You can't do this."

Cheap law has us relying on our selves. The killing law denies the power of self.

Cheap law says that we've done wrong, but we can do better. The killing law says that we are dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1).
« Last Edit: August 01, 2008, 01:04:39 AM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #129 on: August 01, 2008, 01:10:12 AM »
The "church body" may not 'seek' abortions but not proclaiming God's word condemning killing is enough to put the church in the  docket for accessory to the crime. The only reason I see being modeled by the Scriptures for taking a life is to protect a life. Seldom the case in abortions.
Where does God's word condemn killing? Have you read through Joshua lately where God commanded the killing of men, women, and children?
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Dave_Poedel

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #130 on: August 01, 2008, 02:25:26 AM »
And I shall make the plea again: Is it at all possible to have a discussion proceed on this board without the rancor and denunciations and "sick unto death" labelings? For some, I suspect not. That's too bad.

But, my dear brothers and sisters, let us never grow weary of trying, each of us, with each post and response, to begin practicing the eternal fellowship that is ours by grace alone, through the faith in our Lord God given to each of us as individuals, to be practiced together.  We are going to spend eternity with each other, why not start regarding each other in that way now?  The day is coming when what we see dimly now will be seen fully as we are fully seen. Amen! Maranatha!

Hey, this is my 1,000st post!  Feeling pretty millennial right now...OK, it's passed
« Last Edit: August 01, 2008, 02:27:41 AM by Padre Dave Poedel, STS »

Charles_Austin

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #131 on: August 01, 2008, 04:55:24 AM »
Pastor McCain writes:
Real churches do not pay for elective abortions.

I comment:
Actually, even the so-called "pro-life" churches often do, when the life and health of the mother is threatened. That is an "elective abortion," for the woman may elect to have it or she may elect to give up her life.  And the issue, of course, is: who gets to "elect" - the woman, the man, the doctors, the spiritual advisors - or a separate party that says: no abortions, ever?
But let us not stomp down this fruitless road again.

Scott5

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #132 on: August 01, 2008, 08:28:11 AM »
Cheap grace is the result of cheap law. Cheap law is when the proclaiming the law becomes morality rather than the sword of God that kills. Cheap law preaches against abortion; killing law also preaches against those who judge others who have had abortions or who perform abortions. Cheap law preaches against sex outside of marriages; killing law also preaches against anyone who believes that they are more saved by God or are proud because they waited until their wedding day. Cheap law makes only some people sinners. Killing law attacks all of us -- especially those who are proud of their self-righteousness. Once the law actually kills our self-serving attempts at justification, then God's grace is the power that can raise the dead to new life.

What distinction between "cheap law" and "killing law" are you after?  I bet I could substitute something like "the guy's proclamation of law I don't like" for one and "the guy's proclamation of law I like" for the other and come up with an equivalent comparison.  All your two "laws" sound like is the Law preached to different people as applicable to their situation.

E.g., your "killing law" against "anyone who believes that they are more saved by God or are proud because they waited until their wedding day" sounds like it "makes only some people sinners," just like your examples of "cheap law." 
Did you not read the word "also" in my post?

Simply stated, cheap law says, "You can do this." The killing law says, "You can't do this."

Cheap law has us relying on our selves. The killing law denies the power of self.

Cheap law says that we've done wrong, but we can do better. The killing law says that we are dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1).

Still don't buy the distinction between "cheap" and "killing."

The proclamation of law that "you executed your baby" is pretty killing.  There's not much you can do about it at that point.  When crushed by the weight of that sin, the only thing that can make you alive again is the proclamation of forgiveness that comes in Christ, a forgiveness that floods over even this.  It renews the one struggling under the guilt and lostness entailed the realization, tellling them that even for this sin did Christ die.

Unless, of course, you're speaking of the distinction between the first (or third) and second uses of the Law.  Then I do agree that there's a difference.  But the way that the Law is heard doesn't depend upon us, so even proclaiming what is intended to be first use (abortion should not be done because it kills a baby and one of the basic functions of all government is to protect the life of its citizens) can easily be heard as second use (you killed your child).

The second use leaves no wiggle room and is killing.  The first, I agree, may leave a person relatively spiritually unscathed.  As Bob Kolb says, "You don't want to nick them [with the Law], you want to kill them" (or something relatively close to that).

Even so, the first use is not "cheap" but necessary for life on this earth.  God uses it to order society, and that's quite important, no?  The descriptor "cheap," it appears to me, unjustly devalues this function and makes a God too small (!) whose will only works out in one particular way.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2008, 08:30:53 AM by Sc ott Yak imow »

Thomas Byers

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #133 on: August 01, 2008, 08:49:18 AM »
Somebody said "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?"  tb

swbohler

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Re: Death of mainline protestantism
« Reply #134 on: August 01, 2008, 09:00:01 AM »
Goodness, has it really come to this?!?  Rev. Stoffregen writes: "Where does God's word condemn killing? "

Ah, Rev. Stoffregen, have you ever heard of the Fifth Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill"?  Or is that not part of God's Word for some people anymore?